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Chocolate Chip Cookie FAQs   

Easy Baking Tips for America’s Favorite Cookie

Have you baked your best chocolate chip cookie?

The recipe you use has a bit to do with it. (Check out The Elf’s favorite one here). But most of the time, the recipe is just fine.

As in so many things in life, baking a good chocolate chipper is, as they say, “in the little things.” 

You're likely not looking for "the perfect cookie" but you sure would like to be someone that "bakes fantastic cookies!" Sometimes just a few simple tips from a friend can make a big difference.

That’s why you’ll find here some of the most common questions that can stand in the way of your chocolate chip cookie happiness … and some easy baking tips to use so you can thoroughly enjoy baking America’s favorite cookie.

And please add your own tips in the comments below, too!

Problem 1: My Cookies Are Different Sizes or Shapes

Chocolate Chip Cookie FAQs from The Cookie Elf

Chocolate chippers are drop cookies. That means the cookie dough is mixed together and then “dropped” onto cookie sheets in individual spoonfuls. Cookies from the same batch can taste the same but look different, depending upon how you drop the dough on the baking pan.

Use a spoon? Okaaaaay… but be warned, unless you’re super-vigilant, the cookies won’t be the same size. Plus, misshapen cookies will bake unevenly.

Cookie Elf best advice: use a cookie scoop to drop even dollops. (Or check out 3 ways to scoop cookie dough here.) And don’t be afraid to use your fingertip to help shape the cookies evenly.

Problem 2: My Cookies Don’t Look Like They Have Chocolate Chips

Even if your recipe calls for extra chips, they can get buried in the dough. Who wants to eat a chocolate chip cookie that doesn’t look like it has any chips? There are two solutions to this problem.

  1. Mix in chocolate chips a little at a time with a large spoon, not with the electric mixer.  This way they will be more evenly distributed through the dough.
  2. Keep back some chocolate chips from the cookie dough or have extras on hand. After you drop the cookies, press a few chips into the top surfaces. Your cookies will look awesome! 

Problem 3: My Cookies are Too Chewy (or Too Crispy)

Did you ever notice how your cookie recipe has a suggested bake time range? It reads, “Bake 9-12 minutes” leaving you to wonder if you should bake the cookies for 9 minutes or 12 minutes … or 10 or 11.

There’s another good reason for the discrepancy: even taking into account that ovens are different, the bake time range allows you to choose a texture. If you like chewy cookies, remove them from the oven sooner. If you like crispy cookies, leave them in a few minutes longer. Experiment to find the best bake time for your oven and your palette. 

If you particularly favor chewy, soft cookies (as we do here in The Elf household), then try under-baking the cookies by a minute or two. One cue to look for to know that cookies are done: the tops of the cookies begin to show golden spots, but that warm tone doesn’t extend uniformly across the cookie surface.

Problem 4: My Cookies Lose Their Shape After Baking

Ding! The oven time rings. You pull out the baking sheet, grab a spatula, and push it under a chocolate chip cookie to remove it from the pan … and the cookie morphs into an amoeba-shaped blob. How frustrating, particularly after you’ve gone to all the trouble of dropping beautifully-shaped cookie dough.

Here’s the fix: let the cookies sit on the baking pan for 2-5 minutes to let them firm up before moving them. 

Take that time to pour yourself a glass of milk. Then when you remove the cookies from the pan and onto the wire rack, you’ll find they keep their shape. Promise!

And you’ll be ready to have cookies and milk.

More Baking Cookies Tips and How-Tos

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How to scoop cookie dough: 3 ways to try ...

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Creaming butter and sugar: practical tips anyone can use ... 

How to melt chocolate chips ...

How to Make Christmas Cookie Icing (AKA Royal Icing) ...

How to bake cookies at a high altitude ...

Tips for cutting bar cookies and brownies cleanly and evenly ...

See more baking tips on our Pinterest board...

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